Former Guide Bequeaths $8 Million Worth of Art to the National Gallery of Australia

Sidney Nolan Kelly and Figure (1962) (detail) Photo: Sidney Nolan Trust and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Sidney Nolan Kelly and Figure (1962) (detail) Photo: Sidney Nolan Trust and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

 

</i>Sidney Nolan Kelly and Figure</i> (1962) (detail) Photo: Sidney Nolan Trust and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Sidney Nolan Kelly and Figure (1962) (detail)
Photo: Sidney Nolan Trust and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The National Gallery of Australia has announced it had been given 19 works of contemporary Australian art worth an estimated $8 million by the collector and former museum guide Alan Boxer, Art Daily published. The bequest is one of the largest donations in the institution’s history.

The gift includes artworks by some of Australia’s most significant 20th century artists such as Roy de Maistre, Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, John Olsen, Charles Blackman, John Perceval and Brett Whiteley.

Boxer had a reputation as a thoughtful and diligent collector. According to the Sydney Morning Herald the bequest was planned with museum curators in the early 2000’s.

Having volunteered as a guide at the National Gallery since his retirement in 1982, the former economist used his in-depth knowledge of the museum to carefully select a group of works that would complement and fill gaps within the museum’s existing collection.

The Director of the National Gallery, Gerard Vaughan said in a statement, “This is an exceptional bequest and we will honor Alan Boxer as a passionate collector through the ongoing display, study, and publication of his remarkably generous bequest.”

“Alan Boxer’s taste and connoisseurship were known and respected during his lifetime,” he added. “It is heartening to know that he will be remembered in perpetuity through his munificent bequest to our National Gallery.”


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